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Sybil Derrible, Ph.D.


Smart, Sustainable, and Resilient Cities

Urban Engineer | Complexity and Data Scientist




Welcome to my personal website. My name is Sybil Derrible, I am an Associate Professor of Urban Engineering in the Department of Civil, Materials, and Environmental Engineering at the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC), and the Director of the Complex and Sustainable Urban Networks (CSUN) Lab. I am also a Research Associate Professor with the Institute of Environmental Science and Policy, I have a courtesy appointment in the Department of Computer Science, and I am a faculty fellow at the Honors College at UIC.

Make sure to check the Complex and Sustainable Urban Networks (CSUN) Lab website!

In spring 2022, Francisco Pereira and I visited Aberdeen to see Caitlin Cottrill, an amazing person and scholar who taught us many lessons and who sadly passed away since our visit. The three of us have been great friends for more than 10 years. Caitlin was a faculty at the University of Aberdeen. She was proud to show us Aberdeen. She also lived close to the River Don and loved to walk along it.

Archimedes Screw on the River Don on a beautiful spring morning in 2022, Donside, Aberdeen, Scotland

The river features a little marvel that was built recently: an Archimedes Screw. The Screw, as we called it, is a small hydroelectric power plant. The weight of the water pushes the screw down with an unrelenting and perfect synchrony while generating electricity. The noise it makes is soothing. The sight of the screw constantly turning is mesmerizing. For me, the experience was both meditative and scientifically stimulating. It does not get much better than that. Play the video on repeat, you will get what I mean. And if you want to learn more about the screw, visit https://acenergy.org.uk/.

Research interests: My long-term interests include the planning, design, and modeling of urban infrastructure. More particularly, I look at both the supply of (e.g., network properties) and demand (e.g., consumption behavior) for infrastructure. From buildings, water/wastewater, electricity, gas, telecom, transport, and even solid waste, all are part of a nexus of interdependent, interrelated, and ubiquitous elements of infrastructure that are critical to our cities, acting as a significant generator of economic activity and social development. My main goal is to rethink infrastructure planning and design practices and inform new policies to help design smart, sustainable, and resilient cities.